Breeds

Argentine Dogo

Bred to be the ultimate big game hunter, the Argentine Dogo can prove to be a difficult dog to handle, but for those up to the task, the Dogo can also prove to be a loyal and loving member of the family.

Powerful, quick, and intelligent, not to mention independent, the Dogo needs a strong willed owner who will assert his dominance over the dog.  The Argentine Dogo needs prolific amounts of exercise and mental stimulation.  Left to his own devices, the Dogo will act out in destructive manners, making it imperative that the owner provide large amounts of structured activities, including running, swimming, hiking, weight pulling and agility training.  This requirement alone makes the Argentine Dogo a pet best left to experienced dog owners.  Dogos don't make great apartment dogs due to their need to constantly be active.  They are best suited to houses with large fenced in yards.

An intelligent dog, the Dogo learns quickly and can be taught all manner of things, the dog possesses a strong independent streak and needs an owner who can dominate it, or the dog will constantly try to assert his own dominance in the household.  This dominant streak also means that the Dogo doesn't respond well to other dogs that try to dominate it.  While able to co-exist with other dogs in the same household, those dogs would need to be of a non-dominating breed or problems could occur.

Although bred to hunt in packs, if Dogos are not socialized around other dogs at an early age, they can exhibit aggression to other dogs, especially of the same sex.  This does not occur in all Dogos, but it is impossible to tell if a puppy will develop this aggression, so early socialization is a must.  Behavior towards other dogs is not the only concern.  Dogos are a distrustful breed, which makes them great watchdogs, but their instincts can lead to aggressive or defensive biting.  Socialization early on around people is also important, so that the dog can learn to differentiate between normal behavior and bad behavior in humans.

Loyal animals, the Argentine Dogo makes a good pet for families without small children.  The dogs, especially younger ones, tend to do everything with great enthusiasm.  When they start to play, their size and power, combined with that unbridled enthusiasm, can quickly get out of hand and easily over power even middle school aged children.  They also protect their family, and rough housing between their children and friends can be misconstrued by the Dogo as real aggression.  This perceived aggression could cause the dog to try and protect their family, with grave consequences for the other children.

by Jeremy Holloman